Short Sale – How Long Does This Short Sale Process Take? – Mandy

“Dear Andy,

My husband and I made the decision to do a short sale on our home so that I could be closer to my employer. We began this “situation” over 6 months ago and still have not closed!!!!!! My Realtor has missed deadlines, asked me to pay more money, etc.

Am I able to take any of the 32,000 loss off on my taxes for 2011? Are there any government assistance programs available to help us re-coup some of the costs we’ve incurred???



Short sales are a lot more complicated than a normal real estate transaction. They require the additional step of getting the lenders approval to allow you to sell the home for less than you owe. This extra step can sometimes take an additional 2-6 months. Longer, if it’s not handled properly.

Unfortunately without all the facts I’m left with more questions than answers. Do you already have an offer in place to purchase the property? The money your Realtor is asking you to pay, who does that go to? What kind of deadlines has your Realtor missed? Lender deadlines or Listing deadlines?

Always remember that your lender should be accounting for all real estate fees in the short sale approval and your Realtor should not have any reason to charge you any fees directly to list and sell your home as a short sale. If you don’t already have an offer in place and you’re truly unhappy with the service your Realtor is providing you with, you should ask to speak with their manager or broker. You can ask them to assign you a different agent from their office or terminate the listing agreement altogether and you can go find a brokerage that will do a better job.

As for the taxes, you will want to speak with your accountant about that. My advice for my clients is to always use an accountant or tax professional when filing their taxes after completing a short sale. This is not the time to use Turbo Tax, do it yourself, or file without professional advice. You can find more information about cancellation of debt from the IRS here.

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As for government programs that will allow you to recoup some of your losses. The only program I am aware of is the HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) Program. If you qualify for this program you may be eligible to get as much as $3k at closing as a seller incentive. How to apply and all the details of this program can be found here.

Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress in the comment section below. I am subscribed to this post and will always do my best to answer any further questions you may have promptly.

Best Regards,

Andy is a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts and is the founder of Northeast Properties in Norton, Massachusetts. His brokerage is designed to help homeowners in today’s difficult real estate market, specializing in short sales. Andy speaks with Massachusetts homeowners every day, helping them to address their questions or issues with short sale or loan modification. He enjoys helping consumers arrive at the correct solution to their problem, and believes that the only way to correctly do that is by presenting them with all of their options in an un-biased manner.

If you have a mortgage, short sale, real estate, or loan modification question you’d like to ask just use the online form. I’m happy to help you totally for free.

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